[Advaita-l] Body is the disease

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Fri Jan 17 00:30:02 CST 2014

Srinath Vedagarbha wrote:

>Madhusudhana's contention that it is impossible to conceive a pot without
>the ghaTAkAsha, is not entirely correct. Pot is not just ghaTAkAsha alone,
>but it is ghaTAkAsha plus mud (upAdAna) enclosing and holding it.   Without
>mud's participation, it is impossible for pot to manifest in the first
>place. Otherwise, we would be seeing pots everywhere, for space is
>everywhere. Therefore, it is not correct to say pot is adhIna on ghaTAkAsha
>alone, it should be said pot is adhIna on ghaTAkAsha and upAdhAna together.
>Mapping this to our problem domain -- avidya (pot) is not adhIna on jIva
>(ghaTAkAsha) alone, but it is adhIna on upAdhAna also. But you see, in
>Madhusudhana's example there is nothing to represent upAdhAna. In this
>sense, Madhusudhana's mapping of entities to pot example is incorrect. This
>is one way of thinking.

What madhusUdana is showing here does not require *exclusive*
dependence. To explain, if A depends on B and B depends on A we say it
is mutual dependence. It may very well be the case that A depends on B
and other factors besides B, and B depends on A and other factors
besides A. There is still mutual dependence between A and B, or
anyonyAdhInatA, though it does not exclude other factors on which A an
B may depend. The argument of madhusUdana is still valid. Taking a
simple example, a merchant depends on his customers for earning
revenue and the customers depend on the merchant to supply goods. We
can say there is mutual dependence between them, although the merchant
also depends on other factors, for example, suppliers of goods, and
the customers depend on their employers or sources of income.

>In another way, speaking from kAraNa-kArya perspective,  ghaTAkAsha  is
>caused by upAdhAna mud enclosing and limiting AkAsha. In this sense,
>upAdAna should be really consider as parallel to avidya, which by limiting
>Brahman causes jIva bhAva (ghaTAkAsha). So, from kAraNa-kArya perspective,
>ghaTAkAsha cannot said to be exist unless upAdAna causing it. Where as
>upAdAna can exist without ghaTAkAsha. So, the relationship between them is
>not  anyonyAdhInatA as Madhusudhana contends, but it is dependence in one

This is not a correct example. We have to remember that vAcaspati also
says avidyA and jIva are anAdi, without a beginning. You cannot point
to a certain point in time in the past when the avidyA clay got
transformed into a pot. The avidyA pot is anAdi. Therefore, the jIva
pot-space is also anAdi. We have to examine the "manufactured" pot,
not the pot during or prior to manufacturing, because there was no
time when such a "manufacturing" event happened!

>But such anyonyAdhInatA is already siddha in pratyaksha. The same fallacy I
>was mentioning earlier applies if one invokes such anyonyAdhInatA in a
>vAda, for entities involved in such relationship is not yet siddha and to
>be established. Proponent has to establish their existence first
>independent of relationship between them and then later show relationship
>between them. The case here is different, for jIva cannot said to be
>existed without avidya operating on Brahman, and in turn, avidya cannot be
>traced without jIva exist for its locus.

Again, the anAditva of both avidyA and jIva is sufficient here. I
repeat there is no time when jIva was not there and only avidyA
existed. Nor was there any time when avidyA was not there and only
jIva existed. The two have always co-existed in a mutually dependent
way. If you ask how avidyA and jIva are established in advaita, it is
a different question. The answer is found in standard advaita texts
and there is no need for madhusUdana to establish avidyA and jIva in
this specific context.

>anyOnyAshraya is not about their locus, it was charged about their
>(alleged) existence . As said above,  jIva cannot said to be existed
>without avidya operating on Brahman (limiting adjunct), and in turn, avidya
>cannot said to be existed without sentient entity jIva as its locus to

Again, the anAditva of both avidyA and jIva is the point you are
missing. The clay, pot, and pot-space analogy has limitations and
cannot be extended too far. Precisely, you cannot say when the pot was
manufactured from clay or when the AkAsha (space) got limited
(avacchinna) by the pot. In everyday life, we know exactly when a pot
is manufactured. The pot (pots to be precise, because vAcaspati says
there are many jIvas, not just one) has been there from time


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